Variable mesh Earth System Modelling of the climate effects of volcanic eruptions

This project will aim for modelling the global and regional climate effects of major Icelandic eruptions with different SO2 emission strengths and explosivity focusing on radiation, clouds, hydrology, circulation and Earth System coupling processes at high latitudes. High Performance Computing platforms and cloud services are key for the training in computational climate science. 

Left: Output grid of the Variable CESM model, sequentially increasing in resolution from ~111 km to ~14 km over Europe/ North Atlantic. (©Pardeep Pall) Right: Sarychev volcano eruption on June 12, 2009 as viewed from the International Space Station

Left: Output grid of the Variable CESM model, sequentially increasing in resolution from ~111 km to ~14 km over Europe/ North Atlantic. (©Pardeep Pall) Right: Sarychev volcano eruption on June 12, 2009 as viewed from the International Space Station (©Earthobservatory.nasa.gov).

This project will aim for modelling the global and regional climate effects of major Icelandic eruptions with different SO2 emission strengths and explosivity focusing on radiation, clouds, hydrology, circulation and Earth System coupling processes at high latitudes. High Performance Computing platforms and cloud services are key for the training in computational climate science.

Each year more than 50 volcanoes erupt worldwide. From those, only explosive and sulfur rich volcanoes are thought to lead to significant climate signals, most notably in the form of global surface cooling.

High-latitude explosive eruptions have a stronger climate impact on the corresponding hemisphere than tropical eruptions with the same volcanic forcing in terms of SO2 injection into the stratosphere. Less is known on the effects of major Icelandic eruptions which can be solely emitting to the troposphere (Holuhraun 2014-2015) or can be a combination of tropospheric emissions plus explosive phases (Laki 1783-1784, Eldgjá 939).

Here we want to test the importance of applying a high resolution and variable mesh with the Community Earth System Model for the assessment of global and regional climate response. Commonly, global climate models apply 100 to 200 km horizontal grid spacing, which will be refined to a regional grid finer than 14 km resolution over the North Atlantic, Europe, and the Arctic (see Figure).

Requirements

  • A background in atmospheric/climate science is an advantage.

Supervisors

Professor Kirstin Krüger

Professor Trude Storelvmo

Call 1: Project start autumn 2021

This project is in call 1, starting autumn 2021. Read about how to apply

Published Aug. 20, 2020 2:09 PM - Last modified Nov. 17, 2020 3:12 PM